Planning a trip to San Francisco this winter? Be sure to get your tickets to these limited-time-only cultural happenings.
“Keith Haring: The Political Line” (through Feb. 16) is the first major Haring show on the West Coast in nearly two decades and the first American exhibit to explore the political magnitude of the artist’s work. Known for its simple, cartoonish style, Haring’s work is heavily influenced by graffiti art and pop culture imagery. The more than 130 works, including large-scale paintings on tarpaulins and canvases, sculptures and a collection of subway drawings address issues like nuclear proliferation, racial inequality and the pitfalls of capitalism. His short but prolific career was based in New York, but Haring’s work has long been a part of San Francisco’s culture, and you can find many of his murals and sculptures on display at venues throughout the city, including the outdoor sculpture “Untitled (Three Dancing Figures)” at Third and Howard streets. de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., San Francisco, 415.750.3600
The new exhibition “Aquascapes: The Art of Underwater Gardening” (through April 12) at the Conservatory of Flowers brings you under the surface and into another world. Experience the freshwater tropical streams of Africa, Asia and South America through artfully crafted underwater environments featuring a variety of fish, plants, stones and wood. You might see layers of rock forming miniature cliffs and caverns or jutting limbs of driftwood surrounded by ferns, moss, seaweeds and the steady traffic of tiny fish. Aquascaping dates back to the 1930s when the commercial availability of aquarium equipment sparked international interest, but the practice is by no means purely aesthetic. Each living aquascape is its own ecosystem with a delicate chemical and biological balance. So visit twice if you can, as these underwater landscapes will grow and transform, providing a new experience with each visit. Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F. Kennedy Dr., San Francisco, 415.831.2090
Stage and screen legend Angela Lansbury kicks off the New Year in San Francisco as she returns to her Tony Award-winning role as Madame Arcati in a new production of “Blithe Spirit” (Jan. 20-Feb. 1). Michael Blakemore’s revival of Noel Coward’s most popular comedy has already sold out Broadway and London’s West End, and the show is only in town for a limited two-week engagement. It will play the intimate, 1600-seat Golden Gate Theatre. The story follows a writer researching his next novel who turns to the medium Madame Arcati for inspiration. After a séance, he is haunted by the ghost of his dead wife who has her own plans for the future of the writer’s current marriage. SHN Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor St., San Francisco, 888.746.1799